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The Big Reveal: Pay Equity in New Zealand

Jorge Waayman | Posted on Mar 9, 2022
  • A new public registry of companies reporting gender and ethnic pay gap information has been launched
  • Four NZX-listed companies currently report both gender and ethnic pay gaps in their workforces
  • Strong alignment with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, although progress in New Zealand has been stagnant over recent years

Pay equity advocacy group mindthegap has launched Aotearoa New Zealand’s first publicly available registry of companies providing pay gap information on their workforces1. This registry covers 160 of the country’s largest employers as well as an additional 34 smaller employers that volunteered the information. This research found an apparent lack of disclosure on pay gaps across these companies with only 27% reporting on gender pay gaps and even fewer (<5%) on ethnic pay gaps.

From companies listed on the NZX in this sample, 17 of them have reported their gender pay gap data across their workforces and four of these, Meridian Energy, Chorus, Westpac, and SkyCity Entertainment, provided ethnic pay gap information as well. This represents an important starting point in working to address any gaps identified and any biases in recruitment or remuneration practices that may exist.

Analysis of pay gaps is a natural extension of company initiatives to measure diversity and inclusion across their workforces. It is a useful high-level indicator usually calculated by comparing median pay rates across different groups of employees, most commonly gender and ethnicity. However, it is important to distinguish between “pay gaps” and “pay equity” where the latter represents paying the same amount for doing work of equal value. Companies should already have zero pay equity gaps as legislated in New Zealand through the Equal Pay Act 1972.

Improving equality outcomes links closely with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals2, particularly goals 5 and 10 on gender equality and reducing inequalities. These goals seek to end discrimination and promote social, economic, and political inclusion of all people irrespective of gender, ethnicity, and other forms of diversity.

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According to Stats NZ, progress on the gender pay gap in Aotearoa New Zealand has been relatively flat over the past five years, sitting at 9.1% as at end of June last year3. The gap is also exacerbated in certain industries such as financial and insurance services which is as high as 31%.4 This shows the need for companies to take a proactive stance to identify initiatives to improve their representation of female workers, across all levels of the business.

At Harbour, we welcome the launch of this registry and encourage all listed companies to begin measuring and reporting their pay gaps. This work compliments our prior research on diversity and inclusion covered in our Social Spotlight series and forms a key part of how we assess investment opportunities in our ESG framework.


  1. Mind the Gap Registry —
  2. Home | Sustainable Development (
  3. Gender pay gap unchanged | Stats NZ
  4. Industry | Ministry for Women


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